Employee Wellness: Spirituality in the Workplace

Sections of This Topic Include

Spirituality in the Workplace - What is Spirituality at Work?
Value of Spirituality in the Workplace
Reasons for the Spirituality in the Workplace Movement
Numerous Resources About Spirituality in the Workplace

Spirituality Beyond the Workplace - Getting to What Matters Most
Numerous Resources About Spirituality Beyond the Workplace

Aspects of Spirituality -- an Alphabet Series
People in Spirituality -- an Alphabet Series

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Library's Human Resources Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Spirituality in the Workplace Blog


Spirituality in the Workplace - What is Spirituality at Work?

© Copyright Linda Ferguson

In my travels around the country providing workshops on the topic of working spiritually, I’ve found consistently that people are looking for ways to have their work make a difference and to feel energized in a richer way in their work. I want to explore here a few ways that you might examine spirituality in your work.

I provide a framework in my first book, “Path for Greatness”, for aligning your gifts, passion and purpose so you can be of service for the world. (to see more about my book on Spirituality at Work go to: http://www.amazon.com/Path-Greatness-Work-Spiritual-Service/dp/1552124983/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

First idea to explore is – what feeds you spiritually? You need to continually till your spiritual soil so that you can keep energized and inspired. Take some time now and write down 3 things you do each week or every day to renew yourself.

Second, what does spirituality mean to you? What three words do you use to describe times when you feel spiritual? See how you can integrate those words and ideas into your work day. In my workshop I have people write out all the words they can to describe a spiritual experience. Those words may include joy, peace, bliss, serenity etc. I then ask, ‘Would you like to work in a place that has this?’ To a person, they all say yes.

OK then, how do you help create this in your work? What small step can you take to bring such feelings into your workplace? Please share your ideas here on this post of how you work spiritually or how you’ve seen others do this.

Three words that I like to use for working spiritually are: wholeness, meaning and connection. When we feel a sense of our own wholeness, we come from a place of greater authenticity and energy. We generally find greater meaning in what we do when we are doing it for a larger purpose than feeding ourselves or our organization. Think of how you can be your best FOR the world.

Finally, when we connect to others in a deeper way, we often feel greater compassion or joy in our relationship with them. We can strengthen all that we do when we connect with our own Source of inspiration, in whatever ways we connect with this Source.

Value of Spirituality in the Workplace

© Copyright Janae Bower

Research shows the impact spirit in the workplace can have for individuals and organizations. Here are five key outcomes that everyone can benefit from:

Boosts morale. Engaging in practices that support spirit in the workplace can uplift the spirits of everyone involved.

Influences satisfaction. Since spirit in the workplace encourages each individual to bring their whole self to both work and home, it increases the satisfaction level in both areas.

Strengthens commitment. Being aligned with an organization that fosters the essence of who you are enables you to feel and display a tremendous sense of loyalty.

Increases productivity. When you feel a greater sense of connection to your work, you are more motivated to produce good work. Which in turn increases the overall productivity of an organization.

Improves the bottom line. According to a nation-wide study on spirituality in the workplace, organizations which integrate another bottom-line into its practices – like spirituality – actually increase the financial bottom-line. These organizations believe that spirituality could ultimately be the greatest competitive advantage.

For example, Southwest Airlines is often described in terms that would identify it as a spirit-driven organization. This was the only airline to be profitable after the September 11th tragedy that had an incredible financial impact on the airline industry and continues to remain profitable. They have a triple bottom line – People, Performance & Planet. “It takes a lot of dedication, perseverance, and hard work to do the right thing for our Customers, Employees, and Planet. We began operations in 1971 with a revolutionary idea that everyone should be able to afford to fly instead of drive and to enjoy the Safety, comfort, and convenience of air travel. For the past 38 years, we have devoted ourselves to meeting that goal. ”

Since 1987, when the Department of Transportation began tracking Customer Satisfaction statistics, Southwest has consistently led the entire airline industry with the lowest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded. Many airlines have tried to copy Southwest’s business model, and the Culture of Southwest is admired and emulated by corporations and organizations in all walks of life.

According to their Southwest Cares Report: Doing the Right Thing, “To better understand why we at Southwest try to do the right thing, it is important to understand how we do business and how we integrate our Core Values into everything we do. It is the Southwest Culture that sets us apart.

The 35,000+ Employees of Southwest Airlines are the heart and soul of our Company. Doing the right thing for these Employees includes providing them with a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. As we “Live the Southwest Way,” our Employees are recognized through several Employee recognition programs for the hard work and caring Spirit they show to each other and our Customers. Not only do we work hard with what we call a Warrior Spirit, we work smart.” Part of living the Southwest way is also by having a servant’s heart and a fun LUVing attitude.

Reasons for the Spirituality in the Workplace Movement

© Copyright Janae Bower

There are many reasons that contribute to this movement around spirit in the workplace. Here are a few reasons I’ve found on why it began.

Employees want more from their organizations and organizations demand more from their employees. With all the corporate downsizing and restructuring, employees who are left tend to work longer hours. As a result, they want to bring more of their outside self to work. As organizations continue to struggle to find and keep talented employees, they need to offer more than just “a job.” Employees yearn to feel part of a mission, to add value and to contribute in a meaningful way.

Previous movements in the 1980’s and 1990’s such as the new age, work/life balance, simplicity and others have paved the way for this one as well as newer ones like the green movement.

Different generations are contributing to it as well. The majority of the population, 78 million baby boomers, are reaching mid-life and looking at spiritual issues such as: What is my legacy? What is my purpose? What is really important to me? Generation Xers are driven toward a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality and are willing to make organizational changes to meet those needs for work-life balance. Generation Y is the other dominate generation with 76 million. This value-based, team-focused generation is influencing the workplace in many positive ways, one being wanting flexible workplaces that provide meaning and growth opportunities.

In general it is also a reflective time in society as we experienced the first decade of the millennium. As we are living this momentous time in history, society as a whole is reflecting on matters related to spirituality, ethics and humanity.

Numerous Resources About Spirituality in the Workplace

Love and Honesty is the Key to Success in Business
Meaning Is the New Money
The New Spirit of Work
Reigniting Spirit in the Workplace
Spirit in the Workplace
Spirituality in the Workplace
Here We Are. Now What?: On the Meaning of Work
The Spirit On-Site
What is Spirituality at Work?
How to Describe Spirit in the Workplace - Another Perspective
The Value of Spirituality in the Workplace
Reasons for the Spirituality in the Workplace Movement
Making Memorable Moments at Work
CYA - It all Depends on Perspective
The Happy Manager, A Better Way To Manage
Being Patient with Life Lessons
Playing is Part of the Job
Five Stages to Develop Patience

Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: Sweat Time at Microsoft
The Shape of the Meaning Organization
Worrying? Chant (or whistle) While You Work
Right Livelihood -- Doing Well By Doing Good
The Corporate Pursuit of Happiness | Fast Company
Energize Your Work through your Gifts, Passion and Purpose
Spiritual Beings at Work
WANTED: Your Spirituality at Work
Authenticity, Vulnerability & Faith
Having a Rough Week? Five Ideas to Shift your Energy
Developing Compassion at Work
Spiritual Board of Directors
Oh, to be a Mensch
Still Worrying? Let Go and Let God
Healing and Reconciliation
It is My Job
Lessons from a Kung Fu Panda
Grieving and Loss
Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers
Time out is Time In
(Re-) Connecting with Source
Divine Discontent – What’s calling you now?
Meditation on Balance
Charter for Compassion
Creative Solutions; Leaps of Faith
Mindfulness Practice- Creating Peace at Work
Checking your Ego
Open Heart, Expanded World
Reflections on the Penn State Tragedy
What are you Downloading?
12 ways leaders can create more joy
Metrics of Meaning
Care and Compassion Scoopin’ Up Sh–
Meaningful Work is Worth Creating
Step Up and Step Out
Cherish Dear Colleagues
What Would Love Do Now?
4 Keys to Accomplishing More – Part 1
More Keys to Easily Accomplishing More – Part 2
Trust Requires Emotional Safety
Feel the Rhythm – 5 Ways to Gauge your Team Harmony
Tool for Change: Transformational Empowerment
Buddhist 1st Noble Truth
Spread a smile at work today!
Align Your Gifts, Passion, and Purpose
Key to Productive Teams: Who are You Being?
Manifesting: Replacing the Old Paradigm of Industry
The Principle of Two Hands

Spirituality Beyond the Workplace - Getting to What Matter Most

© Copyright Janae Bower

Have you figured out how to get the heart of what matters most amidst the chaos of our overstuffed lives? Lately I’ve been using this affirmation as a reminder in my pursuit of what is most important in my work and life. “I make time for what matters most.” This affirmation helps me to know that while I can’t get to everything that I want to on my daily to do list, I am intentionally carving out time for those most critical things each day. Sometimes that includes making time for being and not doing.
Stephen Covey refers to this concept as his third habit to put first things first. For Brendon Burchard, author of Life’s Golden Ticket, it’s about living each day fully by being able to say yes to these three questions. “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” Val Kinjerski, PhD, shares another perspective of how important it is to fight for what really matters. Check her out as she speaks about it on YouTube.

Here’s how I determine what matters most:

  • Finding IT: How to Lead with your Heart. First you have to discover what matters most to YOU by finding the deeper meaning, joy, and purpose of life.
  • Living IT: How to Create and Live an Inspired Life. Next you need to decide how you’ll live. When you understand how to live the inspired life principles from the insideout, you will learn how to live your life the way you ought to be; full and richly.
  • Giving IT Away: How to Make a Difference. The final aspect is to determine your legacy. How will you be inspired to leave your mark by giving away your time, talent and treasures to serve others and be part of something larger than yourself?

Numerous Resources About Spirituality Beyond the Workplace

Travel Lightly
3 Ways Gratitude Works
Choosing Happiness
Carrying the Stone Part 1
Carrying the Stone Part 2: Listen for Feelings and Needs
Carrying the Stones Empathy
Hands, Feet and Heart
Winter Feast for the Soul
Six Ingredients of a Good Life
Holy Traditions -- Light in the Darkness
Doing and Being - Planting and Allowing
What is a Well-lived Life?
Setting Intentions, Then Stepping Back
The Spirit of Appreciation
Cows Can Be Purple
Getting to the Heart of What Matters Most
Information vs. Knowledge vs. Wisdom
Life Uncluttered 7 Ways to Find the Stillness
Got a Pick?
Let the Fish Swim in the Deep Pool
Envision Your Highest Dreams
Coaching Tip How to Give Effective Appreciation
Changing Seasons, Slowing Down
Will Focus Make You Happier?
Celebrate What's Right
The Egoectomy Procedure
Being Aware of Judgments
Mission Not So Impossible
Choosing Love
Is your Light Under a Bushel or Shining Brightly?
Working with a Pure Heart -- The Eight Fold Path
Down Time is God Time
Lessons from the River Creatures
Oh to Sleep Well and Dream
Worrying? Stop Tugging on your Head
Leadership Grace – Part 1
Leadership Grace – Part 2
Freedoms and Declarations
Lammas – The First Harvest
Life in the Vast Lane
Being Peace- It all starts with You
Setting Your Highest Intention
Rain and Water- Purifying and Cleansing
Doing The Work
Spiritual approach to Economic future
Spiritual Menu Planning
Giving Thanks
Holiday Greetings
You are a Luminous Light
2012 Greetings and Reminders
Emerging and Awakening
From A-Z What God Is
Mission 2012 – Shifting from Fear to Love
The Beloved Community: The Vision of Martin Luther King Jr.
Winter Feast for the Soul 2012
All That You Think, Say and Do
Dream Investors
Recognizing Your Shadow
Spiritual Practices for the Beloved Community
The Energy of Love
When you Do what you Love
World of Words
Be like Brad
Enter Your Own Ground
Flapping of the Wings
Panning for Gold
Taxes and Tithing
Walk the Beauty Way
In His Hands
Soaring To New Heights
Success vs. Faith – Separate But Equal??
The Ants Go Marching One by One
Unintentional programming
A Legend Remembered
Bring Sunshine
Make My Heart Thy Divine Temple
Video Meditation – Appreciating Nature’s Gifts
Let Peace Begin with Me
What are you celebrating?
Dysfunctional beliefs
Flying High and Nice Try
The Fuel for Your Fire Within

Aspects of Spirituality -- an Alphabet Series

In the following "alphabet series," Janae Bower takes the reader through a broad survey of the many aspects of spirituality -- not just in the workplace.

A is for Aliveness
B is for Bliss
C is for Connection
D is for Divine
E is for Engaged
F is for Fun
G is for Gratitude
H is for Happiness
I is for Inspiration
J is for Joy
K is for Kindness
L is for Love
M is for Motivation
N = No and Know
O = Oneness
P = Purpose
Q is for Quiet
R is for Relationships
S is for Service
T is for Time
U is for Uniqueness
V is for Vulnerable
W is for Wholeheartedness
X is for eXtra special
Y is for Yearning
Z is for Zany
p.s. A Final Thought

People in Spirituality -- an Alphabet Series

A is for Mac Anderson
B is for Janae Bower
C is for Christopher Laney
D is for Deepak Chopra
E is for Robert Emmons, Ph.D.
F is for Linda Ferguson, Ph.D.
G is for God
H is for Shari Harris
I is for Immaculee Ilibagiza
J is for Janet Hagberg
K is for Ken Blanchard and Cynthia Kersey
L is for Love Luminaries
M is for David McNalley
M is for Mother Teresa
N is for Henri Nouwen
O is for Oprah
P is for Paula Huston
Q is for Queen Esther
R is for Rhonda Byrne
S is for Marci Shimoff
T is for James Twyman
U is for Unity
V is for V. J. Smith
W is for Wilkinson
X is for Maximum Influence
Y is for Yahweh
Z is for Gary Zukav
p.s. I is for Immaculee


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